The 16.23-acre Norwood Park boasts the Chicago Park District's only outdoor swimming pool on the North Side with a water slide, making it a favorite destination for summer day camps and young swimmers in the neighborhood. Sports programs for youth include flag football, floor hockey, outdoor soccer, track & field, and tumbling. On the cultural side, they can enjoy classes in acting, piano & music, and tap dancing.
Norwood Park is home to a state-of-the-art fitness center, equipped with circuit weight machines, free weights, and cardiovascular machines. A .22-mile oval [approx. 4.5 laps equals a mile], gravel running track with lights surrounds the baseball diamonds, a outdoor inline skating area, dog park and four tennis courts sit south of the park fieldhouse.
Parents with preschoolers gather for such programs as Musical Moms, Pops & Tots, MightyFitFamily, as well as arts & crafts. A range of activities exist for adults and seniors, including sewing, aerobics, and basketball leagues. Recently the park added a Special Recreation program for children/adults with special needs.
Norwood Park hosts some of the most entertaining special events for neighborhood families, outdoor movies, Halloween parties, and its annual Dinner with Santa.
The Norwood Park Senior Center opened in September 2009 on Park District property adjoining the existing Norwood Park Field house. This senior center offers fitness classes, computer classes, a dining room where hot meals will be served and health screenings for the elderly to the community. Info call: 773.775.6071.
The Senior Center is a partnership of the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, the Chicago Park District, and Norwood Seniors Network.
Norwood Park, located in the community area of the same name, dates to the 1920s. Thirty years earlier, the City of Chicago had annexed Norwood Park Village, already a community of substantial homes. When residential development surged after 1910, citizens created a local park district to serve the area. Established in 1920, the Norwood Park District was one of 22 park commissions consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. The Norwood Park District purchased 14 acres for its first park in 1921. Site drainage began in 1922, and bath house and swimming pool construction shortly thereafter. In 1928, the park district added a fieldhouse with a 500-seat assembly hall. The community, the park district, and the park itself all take their names from Norwood, an 1867 novel by clergyman and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887). The moniker "Park" was added to the community name because Norwood was already the name of an Illinois post office.